Hello friends


Welcome back friends, it has been awhile. Life sure gets busy when kids start school. Here I thought once the boys started I would have time to get things done. Looks like the opposite happens. Work has been crazy busy and I have been working full-time, very unlike me. A lot of things have taken a backseat and I have to learn how to prioritize all over again. I am signed up as PTA secretary and I never imagined how much work goes into that. Right now is a busy time for PTA and I am looking forward to my upcoming vacation with the family.

To catch you up on my fitness, I was trying to keep up with the #2weekchallenge on Mamavation.com but I got a few days behind and decided to just step back and supplement my workout with the ab crusher advance workout by @Gruntstyle. Can I tell you how much I LOVE this workout! I feel great after doing it and I have felt results after just a week. This week I decided to get back into running. My motivation…hubby and his friend running the Twin Cities 10 mile. You have never seen two guys make a 10mile run look so easy and fun! They made it look like a walk in the park. Made me decide to aspire for a lofty goal next year. Can you say 10 mile?

My good news for the week comes from my work out friend that I have had for the past year and a half or more. When she and I started going to the gym together she swore I would never get her to be a runner. We have tried so many classes together, from Body Pump, Step class, Turbo Kick, Cycle, Rowing, Body Flow, but even as I trained for my 5Ks and mud run she kept telling me she would never run. Well this week, I got her to do some running intervals around the indoor track with me. Not once but 2 different days! I asked her to try walking 2 laps and running a lap (or a lap in a half). If she didn’t like it or felt crummy I promised we would stop. She was a sport and gave it a go on Wednesday. She did great completing 6 laps of running, 12 laps of walking for a total of just shy of 2 miles. On Thursday we met at the gym and she only had a half hour to work out so I suggested we run a little more again, since she did so well the day before and was feeling so good. She agreed and managed to give me at least one double lap getting her 7 running laps, 14 walking laps in less time than the day before. She was so proud of herself and I was so proud of her for trying something new, that she swore she would NEVER do. I think I may have passed on the fever of running to yet another person.

Well this week is another crazy work week for me. I am hoping to plan out a ab challenge in November as part of the #corewarrior series. I am hoping for some time here in the very near future to start working out the details.

I wish you all a great and healthy week!!

I got down and Muddy!


I have survived the Twin Cities Mud Run and lived to tell the tale. We had so much fun!! I ran with a group of gals from work as well as a group of guys from work. We had a mix of ages and athletic levels in each group. Our goal, go out, get MUDDY and have FUN! We had to take a clean picture first. I have to give a shout out to Bondi Band. I ordered these “girls gone muddy” bands from them and received my order, in a color they were currently out of in less than a week! You have a customer for life not only because of your customer service but my team LOVED them during the run! They stayed in place and kept our muddy hair out of our eyes! (I give that review of my own accord, I did not receive anything from Bondi Band, nor did they have any idea they were going to be mentioned in this post) Moving on….

I'm on the far left in the back...skinny pipes.

So the race started out with us running through a mud pit in front of a large crowd of on lookers, cheering us on. We had the next 1.5 miles to run and rethink our decision to continue. Our first challenge was to run up one of the steepest ski runs at Trollhaugen. Little did we know, this would be one of many, many, many hills we would run up (and back down). At the first water stop, about a mile in, I was rethinking my breakfast. *Note to self: do NOT eat oatmeal before running.*

At this point we were ready for some obstacles. We were tired of running up and down hills and through, beaches? Where did they get all this thick sand? We were hot and ready to get wet and muddy. It wasn’t long and we hit a large mud pond to run through, it was about waist deep in some areas. We had to climb up large rocks, out of mud pits, up and over logs (that were crossing over mud pits), under logs (in mud pits), through muddy tunnels, cross wobbly logs, go over hurdles, over 2 walls, climb a few rope walls, swing across on a rope swing, swim through mud and muck, and so much more.  Did I also mention there were rules and mud? You had three attempts to complete each obstacle or you were disqualified. You could not skip and obstacle, unless you had 3 failed attempts. Your entire team had to cross the finish line within 15 seconds of each other.

3 of the Down and Dirty Nurses

This is me (on the right) and two of my teammates in our last mile. We were a whole lot muddier before this picture but we just swam in a pond before our decent down the hill. Right after this we ran back up a hill and back down, the same hill to jump over a fire pit and climb this rope wall.

We thought we could rest after that but no, it was on the Rope Bridge.

A small jog past the rope bridge was one of my favorites, the Gorilla Ropes.

I was starting to get tired. I’ll admit it. This was the end of our strength tests. It was a small jog and we were back in front of the cheering crowd of on lookers again. We could see the finish line. All that stood between us and it was…another muddy, rocky hill with…sprinklers? But at the top was best slip and slide ever! Who knew sliding into a muddy puddle would make one giggle like a school child again! After our slide we had a run to the Leap of Faith and waited for our 3 final members to catch up to us (remember the 15 second rule).

Mud in the ear, not so fun, nor easy to clean

Even our BondiBands Survived!!!

Waiting for our lost team members

The Line up

The Leap

The 8ft deep mud puddle/pond

After our swim all we had was an army crawl under ropes and we were done!

Finished!!

We couldn’t have been more proud of our accomplishment. We over came 6.2 mile (10K) of hills, obstacles, and mud, together for a great cause.

 

I wanted to nothing more than take off my muddy shoes. I had struggled for a few weeks prior to the race trying to decide on what to wear on my feet, boots vs. running shoes. I went with running shoes and found a cheap pair of Nike’s (we’re talking $2.50 baby). But they came through, well sort of, by the end they weighed about 5 pounds each.

Our shoes

Yes my socks use to be white and light grey.

To answer Attune Food’s Mamavation Question this week: When was the last time you bought new shoes? Last monday, and look at them now! I used them to stomp in the mud for a good cause, a cure for MS!

And so did a bunch of people. This is 1 of 4 piles of donated shoes.

So what did I learn:

1. Running shoes work just fine for this run. Make sure they are on tight and that you double knot the laces. Wear synthetic socks. (No blisters!)

2. Training would be best. I am in decent shape, but I was not in shape enough to run up and down the ski hills and in what felt like running along a beach, then combine the 2 so you are running up a steep beach. My quads and butt are going to look so good if I keep this up!

3. I have decent upper body strength. I completed all the obstacles without having to repeat.

4. I need to work on my running. Period.

5. I went out to have a muddy good time and it was a muddy blast. So much that I might be crazy enough to do it again!

The last part of this post is sponsored by Attune Foods and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women

Another day bites the dust


Huh. I seemed to have lost August somewhere. Between vacations and a D.I.Y kitchen remodel I have not had as much time to workout. Scary thought for me since July was a HUGE turning point for me and I was rockin’ my workouts.

So here I sit. It is the second to last day of August and I am really wishing I could have done more. Actually, I should have done more. I have the Twin Cities MS Mud Run in 11 days!! I am in trouble. For those who need a reminder, the mud run is a 10K military-style obstacle course run through mud, deep mud. I think I am going to channel the strength of Daniel Alarik (aka: @Gruntstyle).

Seriously, I am going to work hard in the short time I have left. I am going to be running like a mad woman. I plan on mixing in some of the Gruntstyle workouts over on Bookieboo.com to shake things up a bit in a hurry.

Other than that, my only problem is footwear. I am having an internal debate with myself on what I need to wear on my feet for this mud run. I have read in other posts, out in the big ol’ blogosphere, that boots are better because you can easily lose a running shoe to the deep muck. I have not been running very long in general, but I cannot picture running in Jungle Combat boots, as suggested. Any thoughts? Remember I will be a wet muddy mess for this and the shoes, well they may be ditched in the end.

Monday Check Point


Hello blogosphere! I hope today finds you all healthy and well! I have been working hard on my fitness goals and trucking along. I made it to the gym 6 out of 7 days last week. I am trying to hard to train my lungs to breathe when I run. I know sounds funny to say, but I have realized during my past two 5Ks I am not breathing like I should. I take very shallow breaths when I run and this causes me to run into all sorts of problems on the course. As my boys would say, “duh”. So I have been retraining my self on how to breathe. Sounds simple right? Umm, not so much. I have been talking with my friend @RunningRachel over at http://www.runningrachel.com/ and she has been giving me a few pointers about breathing. For starters, when breathing IN-sticking belly out. When breathing OUT-suck belly in. May sound obvious to many of you, but I breathe the opposite way, normally. So yeah, I have to re-train my brain. But it has worked so far. I have also been doing interval training with my running to help me run further distances with this breathing pattern. So this week, I would speed walk for 4 minutes than run for 1 minute and repeat this 5 times. Each run was over 2.2 miles. This week I plan on walking for 3 minutes running for 2 minutes and seeing how I feel. My next big goal to tackle is to run a 5k under 30 miutes.

Food choice this week have been good. Hubby and I have made various salads and wraps made with Flatout Bread. We have been trying to get more veggies in with each meal and eating out of our garden. I need to get back to adding in more fish into our meal plans. When eating out we have been picking lighter meals. The scale has still been my friend. I am still only 3 lbs away from my weight loss goal. I maintained this week, which I am ok with and I figure I would do since I didn’t step it up like I should have.

This week we leave for vacation. We are headed to Madison, Wisconsin for a wedding on Thursday (8/4). The wedding is on Friday, with a family get together all day Saturday. Planning on running while there to get the workouts in. We come home on Sunday. Monday (8/8) we leave for Duluth, MN (2 hours North) on the shores of Lake Superior for a week vacation as a family. There we will be hiking, biking, and relaxing, but also getting some trail running in. It will be our last vacation before the boys start Kindergarten in September, and I go into empty nest withdrawal.

Have a great week and as always, thanks for stopping by!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Flatout Bread and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation .

 

Never prepared


I always seem to jump into things without thinking first. I signed up for my second 5K a month ago think I had plenty of time to prepare. I did, at the time, problem is, I didn’t prepare like I should have. Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been sitting around eating bon bons and ice cream (mmm, ice cream) I have been busting my hind end at the gym at least 4 days a week but I have.not.been.running. So here I am, the Monday before my next (2nd ever) 5K run. I am scared! My goal was to break my time, feel good and confident and ready. Here I sit shaking and almost ready to puke! I ran last Thursday while it was nice and muggy out (ick) and I thought I was going to die! So my game plan for Saturday HYDRATE. Simply HYDRATE and of course FINISH. Did I mention this is a never been run before course? I am running in Madison, Wisconsin at Run to the Rhythm 2011. Average Temperature in Madison is usually 71 degrees. Beautiful, right?  Did I mention it is supposed to be 90 some degrees that day and humid. Thank goodness it is at 9am and that my in-laws live close to the clubhouse pool. So there is my stress. The upside, there will be the BEST firework show I have ever seen later that night! I am so excited to be taking my boys to it. My hubby brought me to this 13 years ago an we have gone almost every year since. But this will be the first year for our 5 year old boys since they are not as afraid of loud noises. The music the fireworks are set to is spectacular. Nothing compares! The all day festivities at the park are so fun the boys may actually sleep in in the morning *fingers crossed*. Sorry digressed, my dear hubby is running with me again (at my pace, sorry dear). I am happy to have the company and the support to push me through. The good news is, sounds like the entire last 1.1 miles is down hill and the finish line is visible! Talk about motivation!  I wish I had more time, but I know I will finish. It may not be a personal best but there will always be next year to come back an crush my own record.

Also, we will see how this newly turned 33-year-old (Tuesday) body holds up. Never thought I would be running in 5Ks let alone my up coming 10K MS Mud Run (with 78 military type obstacles).

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July everyone!!!

Motivation Monday


After a hiatus, I am back! I found my exercise mojo and I have been up and at it. As of June 1st I started the Lazyman Triathlon through my local YMCA. What is the Lazyman Tri you ask? I have 6 weeks to complete what most Ironman athletes complete in a day. I will be swimming 2.5 miles (ok rowing because I cannot enter the pool with my latest injury, a burn on my thumb), cycling 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles. A very attainable goal for me since I did this same event last year. This year my challenge is to complete it sooner. I have 30 miles on the bike and over 8 mile running and we just completed week 1. I should check into Omron Healthcare’s pedometer to see how many steps are in a mile so I can track this while at work.

My other motivation is from a friend of mine. I had encouraged her last fall to join the YMCA and work out with me. Well, while I have been slacking she has turned up the pace and can you say jealous! The girl has some guns! Mama Guns that make mine look like tiny water pistols. Don’t even get me started on her legs! So I have some catching up to do and I WILL CATCH UP! So it begins….

Now if I could only find the nutritional balance. I know what I SHOULD eat but my problem still is getting the two almost 6 year olds on board with the program. I would love it if I could put out some garlic basil humus and celery/carrot sticks as a snack. I could but I would be the only one eating them. It’s a shame because they are really missing out on such a yummy snack. So what I need is some advice in the lunch area. I have been very good at tracking and planning my dinners this past week. I want to expand that to lunches. I have always been bad at lunch planning (my Achilles heel if you will, when it comes to nutrition) and I usually end up making two different meals, one for me and one for the boys. Cue Alysa Bajenaru, RD (@InspiredRD) who is the guest on Mamavation TV tonight. What timing! Hoping for some recipe inspiration and a good healthy dose of “here eat this”.

So for those reading this, I beg you to help me brainstorm and share some lunch ideas for me and the kidlets (they are very opinionated about food).

 

**This post is sponsored by Omron Healthcare and I’m writing this to be entered into a Omron Go Smart Pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation .

 

Mother’s Day at Susan G Komen Race for the Cure recap


The big race day came fast! My only regret was that I got more sleep. The night before I had a hard time sleeping. I’m not sure if it was my nerves or another battle with my insomnia. No big deal. Brian and I got up at 6am Sunday morning, no breakfast in bed for me this Mother’s Day, he had scrambled eggs, me I went for the hard-boiled egg and mixed nut combo (not such a good choice I later learned). We left our house about 6:30 am and made it to the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN at 7:00am. Parking was not as bad as I expected. We walked around for a bit before heading out to the starting line. I think the powers that be heard my plead for nice weather. It was sunny and 57. Perfect for our early morning run!

At the starting line I was amazed at the number of people. Our announcer, for lack of better titles, had mentioned that 8,000 runners were expected this morning and 50,000 walkers for the next wave at 9:30am. This event is one of the Largest Race for the Cures in the U.S. No wonder I felt like a sardine at the start. Here I thought I was in the back, only to turn around and see nothing but a sea of people waiting. That got the nerves a pumping! It took awhile for that many people to get moving. We were bottle necked for about the first mile but after that it opened up a bit. All winter long I ran on the treadmill, not brave enough to battle a Minnesota winter run. It was different running outside again. It was nice to have the distractions of the scenery to look at since I chose not to run with my iPod so Brian and I could talk.

My favorite part of the run? All the cheering sections! They were placed at locations that I definitely felt I needed that extra support and encouragement. My favorite was the rock band that played at a local Fire Department along the route! I really wish I knew the name of the band and the Fire Department. It was such a great treat and really helped me pick up my pace.

Towards the end of the run I was starting to get tired. Not sure if I ran out of fuel due to the small breakfast or if it was lack of sleep that finally caught up to me. This is where Brian really helped me out. He kept pushing me forward and telling me we could do it. My lungs were on fire, long story I don’t want to bore people with, but we managed. The final stretch of the run was directly into the sun but we could hear the cheering crowd at the finish line. I started to get choked up when I realized the guy at the line was announcing people to remember. I know I picked up the pace at this point and crossed the line gusto. It was exhilarating! I couldn’t breathe, but I didn’t care. I only wish I had enough in me to have basked in it for long, but my belly was feeling sour and I needed to get out of the crowd fast and find some water and walk around to allow my lungs to catch up. So thankful for the beautiful water station slightly down the way, were I ran into someone I knew from the gym! Huh? Small world.

After some time and good cleansing breaths, I could turn to Brian and congratulate him on his longest run to date. As well as get my own celebration hug.

So our time? 36:23  (11 minute 32 second pace) not what I had hoped for but I’ll take it as a starting point. Also since I hadn’t had a good quality 5k run since mid-March, I’ll take what I can get.

So my next race will be this Thursday. Yep, Thursday. My legs should be nice and limber by then. It will be a quick (hopefully) 1 mile run in downtown Minneapolis for the 2011 Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile, part of the Twin Cities Marathon. This is the 2nd Largest mile road race in the U.S.  I will be in the “Friends and Family Wave” not the more competitive waves. Looks like a few of my husband’s co-workers will be joining us for this race. I better bring my A game so I don’t look like a wimp. The pressure is on! At the end of the race, coordinators  will be selecting 1,000 random finishers entry into the Twin Cities 10 mile in October. If selected, I will have my work cut out for me. That is, if I have the guts to actually do the 10 mile.

So our question this week from Jillian MoriarityDo you know when to back off of your efforts? When is the last time you took a step back in the name of gentle kindness to yourself?

I have learned over the years to listen to my body as to when I have pushed too hard or too far. I had surgery on my right lung over 10 years ago (for a spontaneous pneumothorax) and I have been working at getting in shape and improving my lung function since. That is my biggest road block. I know when I have gone too far, can’t catch my breath easily, chest starts to hurt, hands go numb, etc. I keep an eye on my heart rate and how it co-relates to my breathing. I hope that running will help strengthen my lungs better than other cardio exercises thus far. I have also been working on breathing exercises with yoga and pilates on my easier days to help my body and mind work together. Yoga is my kindness to my body. It helps my breathing and it helps my body stretch and recover after hard cardio days.

“I wrote the last part of this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a Jillian Moriarity workout  DVD from Jillian Moriarity” The Race for the Cure recap is completely of my own accord!

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